Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


 

V 78-88

There may be no one at all who knows

the true working of God day after day.

It is the "world's reason" for us to take the point of view of "Kara" (the point of view of our self-centered imagination) for granted. That is to say that we do not say or think to ourselves that each and every thought that we have is based on our self-centered thinking. That it is so is fundamental to the point of view of "Kara". I, me, my, mine are understood in all of our thoughts and actions. Are they not?

In the same way the knowledge of the true working of God day after day, the point of view of "Nihon", is not a matter of identifying each and every one of our thoughts or actions with the thought, "this is God's working". The point of view of "Nihon" is the fundamental understanding that it is so. Though the ideas I, me, my, mind still function in the point of view of "Nihon", they are fundamentally understood in the light of the truth of origin. For this reason we speak of replacing one fundamental working of the mind, the limited point of view of "Kara", with the original cause and unlimited point of view of "Nihon".

In whatever matters, I shall show you marvels

through the free and unlimited workings of God.

I think that we have all heard stories or rumors of marvelous events and indeed we might even have experienced marvelous events ourselves. These events appeal to us because they are outside of our ordinary experience and we are unable to explain them in ordinary ways. Sometimes we seek them out and rumors of marvels are universal in their appeal. In the verse above, God promises to show us "marvels in whatever matters." That is to show us the ongoing moment to moment marvels of the living creation as it rises out of the origin, becoming the ever new and fresh universe. Because of the free and unlimited workings of God those marvels are already before us. However we cannot see them because of the limited point of view of our self centered imagination (the point of view of "Kara").

Whatever marvels you may see,

they are none other than the workings of God.

At the time that this was written this was not as well understood as it may be now. The villagers at that time attributed marvels to a number of causes, some of them supernatural and some of them human. There were any number of spirits, gods, human magicians, healers and forces all of which were capable of capturing the human self-centered imagination, the mind of "Kara" and limiting its vision.

Until now, you have known nothing,

but now a narrow path is coming into sight.

There are three ways to view "until now, you have known nothing". The first way assumes that by the word "now", God is referring to the time of Miki's awakening as a shrine of God. That event happened many years before these verses were written and as such can be viewed as referring to an opportunity for a new beginning for all mankind. The second view assumes that over those many years God was unable to get anyone of the people who had followed the Shrine of God to open their mind to reason and to understand the true intention and teaching of God. In this view "now" refers to the time that these verses were written and as such is an appeal to those to whom they were addressed to make a fresh start "now" at that time. The third view assumes that "now" refers to any time that a human being decides to sincerely replace the mind wherein nothing is known, with the mind that is sincerely settled in the truth of origin. This decision could be made at any time and at any place. All that is needed is deep self-reflection and resolve. In this view "now" offers an opportunity to the present reader to assess the his or her present state of mind and understanding to see how it differs with the minds of those who were unable to understand God's true intention and teaching.

The "narrow path" is used in contrast to the "main path". The "main path" is single-heartedness with God. The "narrow path" is offered as a means of purifying the mind so that the "broad way" will open before it.

If you follow this path step by step,

you will surely see the main path ahead.

This is indeed the case. Staying on the "narrow path" surely leads to the "main path" even if we do not know where the "narrow path" leads. However because of our limited view we often have trouble staying on the "narrow path" and often venture off onto other paths that we mistake for it.

Until now, you have come through a path

where there is no distinction between Kara and Nihon,

Recognizing our limitations, God hastens us to distinguish between "Nihon" and "Kara". With this sure guidance it is easier for us to stay on the path. Armed with the ability to distinguish between what is God's original working and the workings of our self-centered imaginations we need only add honesty and true sincerity to stay oriented on the path.

Hereafter, however highly Kara is regarded,

in no case will Nihon be overcome.

Again we can say much the same things about "hereafter" as we said about "now" above. In this case however it is apparent that to realize this it is necessary to do something. To know the truth we must distinguish between "Nihon" and "Kara" and choose the path of "Nihon", the path of single-heartedness with God.

I shall let you dig up the root of this world's origin.

If you have the strength, do your best to dig it up.

The root of the world's origin is God. To dig up the world's origin is to excavate and remove the layers of the self-centered imagination that are piled upon it in our own mind. The strength that is spoken of is the degree of sincerity that we put into the task.

If only you have dug up this root completely,

no one will be you match, whoever one may be.

As we have been promised, the mind that is dug up, and in so doing exposes the truth of origin, is a pure reflection of God's mind and is as such free and unlimited. The mind that remains buried under the accumulations of the self-centered imagination is not free and is severely limited to that point of view.

Listen carefully: whatever you may say or think,

or wherever you may say or think,

As this book draws to a close we return to the main theme of our human misunderstanding, specifically as it relates to our notions of returns. Whatever we think, no matter where we are that truth is reflected back to us instantly as the state of our world. Much like looking in a mirror.

I shall give you a return just as you deserve.

Beware, all of you, for God may withdraw!

The return that we get, the state of our world, is entirely dependant upon the state of our mind. If we decide to cling to "Kara" then we may end up going without God and the truth of origin. Such a return is the way of the world until now. The choice is ours to make.

Take a moment and identify the self-centered imagination. One way to locate it is to recall the way the world is seen by a three-year old child, directly as it is. The ideas worked out, piled up and held by the mind since then are not wrong ideas they are just in the way of knowing the truth of origin. With God's help and your sincerity sweep them away long enough to identify their origin through the mind like clear water. There is nothing to fear as God the Parent is waiting to embrace your return.

Now, I should like to ponder from various perspectives how to advance the path toward the future, to accept as a matter form my own self-reflection Oyasama's regret ... [A]nd, referring to the courses of the path until today, to take a step forward by returning to the mind of a three-year-old child.

In 1984 the East and West Worship Halls were constructed to complete the Four-fronted Mirror Residence...[A]t that time, I requested that we ponder the truth of the Four-fronted Mirror Residence, reflect our minds to the "Kanrodai"[The Konrodai is the Parent of Nihon], sweep the dust from our hearts, use our freedom of mind to purify our minds, and construct our minds to be acceptable in the eyes of Oyasama.

The 3rd Shinbashira October, 28, 1988

There is a verse in the Ofudesaki that contains the line "Why are you not preparing to dig up the root?" Unless you try much harder to seek the intention of the Parent, who is hastening you to "dig up the root," even if it takes you a great deal of time, your work as Arakitoryo, pioneers of the path, which you consider yourselves to be, will not bear fruit in actual terms.

The 3rd Shinbashira October 27, 1991

 

All human bodies are things lent by God.

With what thought are you using them?